Plans to unify all wildlife law into a single statute will have profound consequences for shooting and game management in the near future, says the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO).

Responding to the Law Commission’s proposed shake-up of wildlife legislation in England and Wales, the organisation says that the impact of the planned changes could be akin to those seen when the Hunting Act first came into force in 2005.

However, if handled correctly, it is thought that the review could potentially have significant benefits for wildlife and the management of the countryside. NGO chairman Lindsay Waddell said: “Never before has so much law surrounding the countryside been thrown up in the air all at the same time — this could be as big for shooting as the Hunting Act was for hunting.

Get it right and we could have some of the best wildlife management laws anywhere in the world, which would be great for wildlife and practical for wildlife managers.

[But] allow anti-shooting politicians to walk all over it and restrictive amendments and unwarranted protection could turn it into a nightmare.”

The rest of this article appears in the 12th December issue of Shooting Times.

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